By Katie Tran & Nghi Nguyen
ESUHSD’s (East Side Union High School District) speech therapists host annual Jogathon on April 19 at Overfelt High School and Very Special Prom on Fri., May 10 at the Mexican Heritage Plaza.
The Jogathon is an adaptive PE (physical education) event, one of the Special Education program’s major fundraisers where family and friends of students pledge a donation for every lap they are able to run.
Prom is an event that can be seen as an exciting event to many high school students. It can also be seen as the highlight of their high school careers.
“The event is (about) giving our students with disabilities the same opportunities that their regular peers experience as a high school student, including social events such as prom,” says Special Ed teacher Maria Casiano.
Through Jogathon, students feel a sense of pride and accomplishment because they are able to show their families all their hard work and determination in running laps.
“With perseverance and hard work, you can do anything regardless of whether you have a disability or not,” says Special Ed teacher Ethyl Santos.
The Very Special Prom had the theme of Hollywood Stars. It consisted of dancing and eating in fine dining setting.
“The best part about this event is that our students dress up, and they can have a good time with their peers,” states Special Ed teacher Rowena Vocal.
About 100 teachers and staff from Piedmont Hills, Overfelt, Silver Creek and James Lick were in attendance for Jogathon. Other schools that participated in previous years include Santa Teresa, Yerba Buena and Evergreen, although they didn’t attend this year.
“With this event, students increase their gross motor skills, as well as social skills as they are able to meet other students from the other schools which have the specialized program,” says Mrs. Vocal.
A total of of about two-hundred students and staff came to the Very Special Prom from different schools that have specialized programs such as Silver Creek, Overfelt, James Lick, Yerba Buena, Santa Teresa, and Evergreen high school.
“We are hoping that this social event will continue year after year,” says Mrs. Casiano.
Shirts for the Jogathon event are donated by our very own Insane Ink to runners, which they’ve been doing for the past few years.
The importance of the Very Special Prom and Jogathon can be seen from the students that attended.
“I really loved going to these events, because I could be with my friends,” states Freshman Nevaeh Ortiz.